September - October 2005
Table of Contents
September - October 2005
Following four recent tragic bicycling deaths, I told everyone “let’s be careful out there” in the last Bicycletter. Since then, the 5BBC has joined a coalition of NYC cycling groups that is lobbying the City of New York to make bicycling safer on our streets. Please read the story about the six point Bike Safety Action Plan, and then take action yourself. It’s an election year. Every one of us has a responsibility to make our concerns about rising dangers to cyclists count for something.
Paul Law, a frequent 5BBC rider and a big help on day trips, was “doored” in late June. In his case, it was a car passenger exiting into the street:
“Made the mistake of going back to Bklyn after the Bronx Perimeter Ride via the West Side bikeway. Diverted due to the Gay Pride Parade. Traffic was at a standstill everywhere. Riding up Perry Street on the right side, in the 68th mile since leaving home, when a passenger of a stopped car opened her rear right door into my left upper arm. Went over to the right, bouncing my helmet off a parked car caught a bit of my right elbow going into a reflexive aikido roll, taking most of the fall on the back of my right shoulder and upper right buttock (just below belt height). The helmet gave its life doing its job when it bounced off the asphalt. Shattered my right mirror and the red window on my rear light vanished under a parked police car (no damage to the cop car). Had to pick a sliver of glass out of a sesame seed-sized wound in my right wrist. Used the Wound Wash in my road rash kit to wash the blood off. Could of been worse - my osteoporosis could have left me like a smashed beer bottle.”
I’m glad you’re OK, Paul. Ed DeFrietas and other 5BBC leaders have been pointing out that ANYONE NEAR A DOOR, FRONT OR BACK, NOT JUST THE DRIVER’S, is in equal danger. As a former limousine driver, I can tell you that rear door passengers frequently exit in a hurry, and don’t pay attention to what’s behind them. This is particularly true when they are carrying on a cell phone conversation. On your next ride, stay at least four feet away from any car and shout and point “DOOR” for ANYONE IN ANY PART OF THE CAR.
While safety is an overwhelming theme of this issue of Bicycletter, there is plenty of fun to be had. Check out Alfredo Garcia’s story on Greenway resources – there’s a lot more to NYC paths than you think. The memories of one of our longest serving members, John Sutter, are worth checking out as part of the 5BBC History Project. And don’t forget the wide variety of Day and Weekend Trips, especially as the great fall riding weather arrives.
See you on the road!